Web hosting business SiteGround was established in 2004 and has its headquarters in Bulgaria. Along with domain registration and SSL certificates, it provides a variety of hosting options, such as shared hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting. High-quality hosting services and top-notch customer service are hallmarks of SiteGround. It is frequently regarded as one of the finest web hosting firms by both users and industry experts due to the numerous awards and honors it has garnered for its hosting services.
Small to medium-sized websites and blogs can use SiteGround’s shared hosting plans, which include a number of features like unlimited traffic, daily backups, and a free SSL certificate. The cloud hosting plans offer improved performance and scalability, as well as a variety of data centers across the world, making them suited for bigger websites with higher traffic levels. The most advanced degree of performance and resources, as well as the choice to tailor the server to individual requirements, are provided by the dedicated hosting plans, which are appropriate for very large websites.
A website builder, a WordPress auto-installer, and a range of tutorials and guides are just a few of the useful tools and services that SiteGround provides for its clients. Additionally, a group of customer service representatives is on hand around-the-clock to help with any problems or inquiries that could come up.
Can It Still Be the Best Today After Once Being the Best?
Back then, SiteGround was widely regarded as the best and most developer-friendly hosting provider available, and it was all the rage. But the years go by. Many changes have been made at SiteGround, and speculations have been circulating..
Since rumors are not a preferred source of information, I joined SiteGround with the goal of providing you with an accurate view of the situation as it stands right now. In addition to some positive discoveries, I also made a few unfavorable ones. Read on to find out if SiteGround could be the right choice for you.
SiteGround’s Basic Plan: A Limited but Affordable Option, with Stronger Plans Available
Firstly, let’s talk about the regular features. There are three different plans; the StartUp one is the most basic and only supports one website, whereas the other two support an unlimited number of websites. You can increase your space and bandwidth as well as get access to several advanced features by upgrading to one of the two advanced plans. This section’s recurring subject will be how the basic plan is deficient in the majority of the capabilities that once distinguished SiteGround as a top provider. In this regard, the advanced plans are significantly superior but also more expensive.
Anyways. The NGINX web server technology, one of the most sophisticated and potent solutions accessible right now, serves as the foundation for all plans. Simply because of this, SiteGround beats out a lot of its traditional rivals.
Recently, SiteGround made the decision to quit use the well-known cPanel management panel and instead create its own panel, called Site Tools. How does that make you feel? First off, there are hundreds of CMS that don’t support the Softaculous auto-installer and its convenient collection of one-click scripts (content management systems). Instead, you receive SiteGround’s App Manager, which supports installations of 18 different CMSs. You’ll have to manually install your preferred software if it’s not included in the list.
WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are supported, of course, but Laravel and Symfony frameworks, which are more sophisticated options, can only be installed manually (Laravel is installed on all servers by default). Whatever the case, if you only use WordPress, there is nothing to be concerned about.
Even for WordPress users, however, things aren’t as simple as they once were. A staging version of your website may be quickly launched with Softaculous, enabling you to test changes without affecting the real site. Although you can construct a staging version using SiteGround’s Site Tools, the basic plan does not have access to this feature.
How about security instruments? You know, the gear that safeguards you from the untamed jungle that is the internet? A WAF (web application firewall) and a proprietary monitoring system, for example, are by default included with all plans. You will need to pay more if you want the assurance that enhanced security can offer.
You won’t be shocked, I’m assuming, to learn that the basic SiteGround plan does not contain Git, a well-known programming tool that almost all cPanel servers provide.
Remember that SiteGround still fulfills your demands if they are basic. Even so, I’d say it does so extremely effectively. The issue is that the service used to be able to handle everything, so suddenly providing less is always a bad indicator.
At least every plan still includes SSL certificates. Make sure to activate this straightforward but essential addition to your website so that it can secure your customers’ information. It’s really simple to use SiteGround’s SSL management, and Qualys gave my certificate an A rating. It’s all good news.
Regular System Backups
One of the most crucial elements of hosting is backups because anything can go wrong at any time. Every day, SiteGround will automatically backup your complete system, and it will keep these backups for at least 30 days. Only a few other hosts offer this service as part of their entry-level package, and some don’t even offer it.
On-demand backups, a standard feature offered by all other hosts, are only included in the premium plans.
Cache Performance Booster
The best is to cache. Instead of reconstructing every page for every visitor, your web server makes copies of your website and delivers them the cached versions. This significantly reduces the workload on your server, enabling you to serve more customers more quickly.
Although SiteGround does provide this option, the basic plan has restrictions on its power. You’ll receive some rudimentary caching, but you’ll need to upgrade to one of the more powerful plans to experience the genuine deal.
Website Migration Automated
If your website is hosted somewhere else, you can use the panel’s automated migration feature. Install the plugin on your current website, then enter the token that was generated in the SiteGround panel.
This will work for simple websites, but there is a significant likelihood that there may be issues if your website is overly sophisticated (has a lot of plugins, custom features, special fields, etc.).
By using FTP, File Manager, or MySQL, you can manually transfer your website. Alternatively, you can pay extra for a “professional migration” and have SiteGround’s experts handle everything for you. It’s good to know that this is a choice, but many web servers really provide it without charge.
Ease of use
The Control Panel on SiteGround Is a True Pleasure to Use
Because SiteGround’s features are all hidden behind paywalls, I was a little too critical of them. The user experience with SiteGround is quite different; aside from the signup procedure, it’s one of the nicest I’ve experienced.
SiteGround’s Site Tools are slick, smooth, aesthetically pleasing, and contemporary-looking, avoiding all frequent issues connected with a self-developed control panel. The most frequent activities are conveniently located, while everything else is arranged in a sidebar.
Selecting a Plan
Despite the fact that SiteGround promotes web hosting, WordPress hosting, and WooCommerce hosting, all services are identical.
Even though I’m still not satisfied with what the basic plan delivers, SiteGround is extremely open about the differences between each of the three plan tiers, so I can’t really hold the host responsible for a lack of openness. Simply select your option and go to the registration page.
Opening an Account with SiteGround and Activating It
This bothered me a lot. Even though I was prompted to supply more personal information than I care to share, the enrollment process is quite standard. Following that, I was prompted to confirm my phone number, which is when the unpleasant part began.
There is a good reason why no other host requests this. Even while it seems straightforward on paper, adding steps almost always leads to problems. For instance, I had to ask a buddy to help me because I was out of the country when I signed up, which obviously extended the time required. But consider this: if you request that a web developer open an account for you, you will now be reliant on their phone number for any further verification. Bah.
I was informed that more verification was required after submitting my payment information and becoming verified. I had to pay a tiny charge that had been issued to my credit card account. The time it took for it to appear on my credit card app was an hour, but it may have taken longer.
Anyway, following that, I was eventually able to sign up and board, where things improved significantly.
WordPress Installation and Domain Connection
Your hosting account and domain will be automatically linked if you buy your domain via SiteGround. My domains are registered somewhere else because I like to divide and conquer. After joining up, the nameservers were immediately accessible in my main dashboard, making it very simple to link my domain with SiteGround.
WordPress may be installed with only one click using SiteGround’s App Manager, which has proven to be an excellent one-click auto-installer solution.
The same fantastic interface can be used for any additional maintenance of your hosting, including installing SSL certificates and recovering backups. With tab names like Security, Speed, and WordPress that are obvious, I have no doubt that you’ll pick up how to use this kid like a pro in no time.
The SiteGround-exclusive WordPress Starter plugin is another excellent resource for beginners because it can guide you through the process of picking a theme for your website and setting everything up. It contains a number of popular WordPress plugins, including Yoast SEO, Jetpack, WPForms, and others.
Although SiteGround’s uptime is excellent, it isn’t as quick as it formerly was
Your hosting features and usability are irrelevant to your website’s visitors. The only thing that matters to your visitors is that your website always loads quickly. Those are fairly hefty demands, but your rivals are also subject to them. The visitor’s affection will go to whoever does a better job of entertaining them.
SiteGround now offers data center locations across the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Asia, and Australia as a result of its recent adoption of Google Cloud Platform. It’s always wonderful to see that data centers are environmentally friendly.
Having said that, I anticipated SiteGround to perform better than practically any other host given its premium pricing. Imagine my shock when, after conducting numerous speed tests, I found SiteGround to be… fairly slow.
Not painfully bad or anything, but consistently slower than every other host I evaluated as part of our international web hosting comparison research. The GTmetrix loading times of 2.02s on average are not impressive. The fact that SiteGround ranks last overall and has the slowest speed ever recorded (2.5s) may cause you to wonder why.
Yes, uptime was excellent, but it is insufficient by itself. Simply put, faster hosting include Hostinger (1.56s average), Kinsta (1.2s average), A2 Hosting (1.3s average), and numerous others. Much quicker. If you want to skip to the support part, continue reading to see exactly what I tested and what the results represent.
I created the landing page, which includes HD images, text, effects, and a subscriber option. My results can tell you a lot about what to expect – far more than tests run on empty theme installations with no content at all. This is very similar to how your website might look.
I gave the SiteGround support team a chance to optimize my website, but all I got in return was the laconic instruction to “Optimize your images and install Cloudflare CDN.” My website was tested without any optimizations outside the CDN activation. Let me give you an example: When I used GreenGeeks, the support representative spent the greater part of an hour aggressively optimizing every section of my website.
The hosting services offered by SiteGround include a number of features aimed at enhancing your website’s speed and functionality. These include caching and other performance-improving technologies, as well as SSD storage, which is quicker than conventional hard disk drives. Additionally, SiteGround has a global network of data centers that can help your website load faster for users in various time zones.
The hosting performance of SiteGround is generally regarded as being good, with reasonably quick page loads and little downtime. It’s crucial to keep in mind that a number of variables, like the size and complexity of your website, the volume of traffic it receives, and the performance of other websites hosted on the same server, can have an impact on hosting performance. As a result, depending on your unique situation, it’s conceivable that you may occasionally encounter slower performance.
It’s critical to select the ideal hosting solution for your requirements, optimize your website for speed, and maintain compatibility with the most recent security updates in order to provide your website the best possible performance. The customer service staff at SiteGround can assist you with these chores and provide advice on how to make the most of your hosting services.
Sometimes There Will Be Excellent Support
So, if you ever find yourself in need of assistance, will these guys be there for you? Okay, sort of. The support staff at SiteGround is excellent once you contact them. They are amiable, accommodating, professional, and knowledgeable. Good luck finding them, though.
The customer service department claims to be accessible round-the-clock via live chat, phone, and tickets. Today, a sales chat option is also offered, however at the time I intended to try the service, there was no such option. Even the email address for several pre-sales inquiries was missing. I could only find a physical address in Bulgaria as the only means of contact, therefore I never had the chance to get in touch with customer service before I signed up.
After registering, I discovered that while help was available, getting to it was really difficult. SiteGround has a help center in place of the typical live chat icon in the bottom-right corner.
When trying to contact your cellular provider, you have to travel to the support center and play the same tiresome game of trying every option and hoping one of them results in you speaking to a live person.
Even after I navigated it with a few clicks and arrived at a contact form, SiteGround rejected my request for being “specific enough.”
Each support engagement took about an hour due to the lengthy average wait time for the agent and the slow pace of each talk. Not quite the quick assistance I needed.
The agents were excellent when I finally had the chance to speak with them. True enough. They are easy to talk to, eager to assist, and go above and above the call of duty for support. One of these amazing people helped me link my domain by describing the nuances of each option and the process in great detail.
The agent helped me install WordPress when I inquired for assistance. You got good service there! He even helped me with various configurations while patiently waiting for me at each step.
The agent reinstalled the SSL certificate for me after I intentionally installed the incorrect one, and he took care of everything. I felt thankful, very thankful
So, if it takes a lot of time and effort to contact them, can we still call this a fantastic support service? Not really, no. This is not based on my own experience, but SiteGround users have started reporting some quite unsettling events across the internet.
To meet various needs and price ranges, SiteGround provides a variety of hosting packages. Here is a quick summary of the main plans that are offered.:
- Shared hosting: SiteGround offers a selection of shared hosting packages that are suited for small- to medium-sized websites and blogs. These packages include unlimited traffic, daily backups, and a free SSL certificate, among other things. StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek are the three available shared hosting packages. The most economical and simplest choice is the StartUp plan, which comes with 10GB of storage and support for one website. The GrowBig plan offers 20GB of storage, support for multiple websites, and additional performance and security features. The GoGeek plan contains advanced capabilities for developers and e-commerce websites, as well as support for multiple websites and 30GB of storage.
- Cloud hosting: SiteGround’s cloud hosting plans offer improved performance and scalability, as well as a selection of data centers across the world, making them suited for larger websites with higher traffic volumes. The Entry, Business, and Super Power cloud hosting plans are the three available options. The Entry plan contains 2 CPU cores, 2GB of RAM, support for one website, and 5GB of storage. The Business plan comes with 10GB of storage, 4 CPU cores, 4GB of memory, and support for numerous websites. The Super Power plan comes with 20GB of storage, capacity for numerous websites, six CPU cores, and six gigabytes of memory.
- Dedicated hosting: SiteGround’s dedicated hosting plans provide the highest degree of performance and resources, as well as the opportunity to tailor the server to match certain requirements, making them appropriate for very large websites. The Entry Server, Power Server, and Super Power Server are the three dedicated hosting packages that are offered. 4GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, and a single-core CPU are all included in the Entry Server package. An 8GB of RAM, a dual-core CPU, and 2TB of storage are all included in the Power Server package. 4TB of storage, a quad-core CPU, and 16GB of RAM are all included in the Super Power Server plan.
SiteGround also offers additional features and tools, such as a website builder, a WordPress auto-installer, and a variety of tutorials and guides. In addition, it has a team of customer support agents available 24/7 to assist with any issues or questions that may arise.
SiteGround Review: Bottom Line
If your hosting requirements are extremely sophisticated, SiteGround probably isn’t the best option because of its performance concerns. However, if this is your first time hosting a website, the outstanding user experience can make it worthwhile to spend the money on a simple page. There is a good chance you will receive the assistance you require even if reaching out for aid can take some patience.
If you have complex hosting requirements, SiteGround probably isn’t the best option due to its performance issues. Even if it’s your first time hosting a website, the excellent user experience for a simple website might make it worthwhile. It may take some patience to contact support, but there’s a good chance you’ll get the assistance you require.
Is SiteGround expensive?
Plans from SiteGround start out reasonably priced. However, renewal rates may exceed the initial sum by three times. There are far less expensive solutions available if you’re trying to save money. Browse our coupon page for the best discounts.
Is there an uptime guarantee from SiteGround?
Yes, it does. A 99.9% uptime guarantee is provided annually by SiteGround. You will receive a month of free hosting as compensation if the annual average uptime of your website is lower than 99.9%.
Does SiteGround need me to pay more for backups?
Automatic daily backups are included for free in all plans, but the StartUp plan does not include on-demand backups. You’ll have to purchase this as an add-on feature, or you can upgrade to the GrowBig plan to receive up to 5 on-demand backups.
Does hosting impact how quickly a website loads?
The effectiveness of your website can be greatly impacted by the web host you choose. Slow speeds are caused by some hosts’ usage of antiquated technology or under-optimized platforms. But do not fret. All of the hosts in our list of the top web hosting providers for 2022 have quick load times.